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Srebrenica: Executions and Mass Murders
By Carl Savich
Nothing is really real unless it happens on television.
--- Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961)
Introduction: Pseudo-Events and The Big Lie
The 60th Anniversary commemoration of the Jasenovac Concentration Camp, the largest in the Balkans, known as “the Balkan Auschwitz”, was totally and completely ignored by the US and the so-called international community. Hundreds of thousands of Serbian Orthodox civilians were murdered there during World War II by Croats and Bosnian Muslims. The commemoration of Jasenovac held on Sunday, April 17, 2005, was completely censored and ignored in the West, as reported by Christopher Deliso in “Western Media Ignores Serb, US Memorials of Jasenovac Death Camp”, April 20, 2005, Balkanalysis. Deliso showed that only three non-mainstream news agencies reported on the Jasenovac commemoration. By contrast, a Google search revealed 59,000 sources for the Auschwitz commemoration earlier in 2005.
A Google search using “Srebrenica” will yield 2,010,000 sources on the Internet. A search for “Auschwitz” reveals 2,040,000 sources. A search for “Jasenovac”, by contrast, reveals 50,000 sources. Srebrenica is only 30,000 sources short of Auschwitz in Western media coverage. This is remarkable. It shows what is meant by a media frenzy in the West and the power of propaganda in the West. No, Virginia, this is not by accident or by coincidence. We live in the Information Age where infowar and infotechnology are dominant. In other words, propaganda is the name of the game. It is about converting and convincing “hearts and minds”.
Instead, the Hague War Crimes Tribunal released a video which it played on June 1, 2005 that purported to show executions in Bosnia. Why was this video released to the public and news media now? Why the timing? When healing and reconciliation are needed, instead, the ICTY resorted to the racist promotion of ethnic and religious hatred by demonizing and satanizing an entire people and an entire nation and religion. This video, meant to incite racial, ethnic, and religious hatred against the Serbian people and Serbia, is a sign of desperation and utter failure. The ICTY has failed to prove or establish its case against Slobodan Milosevic. Instead, Carla Del Ponte resorted to an appeal to Atrocity Propaganda, or Atrocity Appeal. Why was this done? The trial is meant to justify and vindicate the US/EU/NATO war against the Bosnian and Krajina Serbs and against Serbia. Thus there is a mindless and inexplicable appeal to emotion. The propaganda video is meant to vitiate thought and cognition. Instead, the video is meant to appeal to our emotions and to the power of the image. The video is meant to “shock” with propaganda images. Why is Del Ponte exploiting human suffering to manufacture racism and religious enmity?
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the masses…The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blasé young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses…Its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect…Sober reasoning determines the people’s thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling…
Hitler called this The Big Lie technique or concept. Why is Carla Del Ponte engaging in The Big Lie? What was the objective of this propaganda ploy?
Srebrenica is meant to create what Daniel J. Boorstin called a “pseudo-event”, a carefully constructed image. Writing in 1961, he saw a shift in American values away from “ideals” and to “images”. Images had overshadowed ideals. Americans were living in a pseudo-reality: “As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism…We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making…” In the age of the “Graphic Revolution”, Boorstin saw the greatest danger and threat to America to be: “It is the menace of unreality.” We live on “illusions” and “delusions”. This is, however, a self-delusion: “We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.”
The ultimate goal of inciting ethnic and religious hatred with this video is part of a larger US/NATO/EU propaganda push to bring attention to the 10 year anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica. This video is selective and one-sided. What the ICTY censored and suppressed are the war crimes and atrocities committed against Bosnian Serbs by Bosnian Muslim and Croat forces. There is no context or historical background.
What is the full and complete story of Srebrenica? The war crimes and atrocities of Naser Oric’s forces in and around Srebrenica are part of a massive cover-up. The role of Ossama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in torturing and executing Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs has likewise been covered up. Indeed, the Al-Qaeda connection to the Bosnian Civil War is completely covered up. Oric said that: “One can’t be bothered with prisoners.” He tortured, executed, and mutilated Bosnian Serb POWs. Moreover, the mujahedeen forces in Bosnia, the El Mujahedeen Unit, commanded by senior Al-Qaeda leaders, tortured, executed, and beheaded Bosnian Serb POWs. The mujahedeen made videos showing these executions. Why aren’t they shown by Del Ponte? What is the other side of the Srebrenica story?
What is so salient and glaring about the media frenzy over Srebrenica is its lack of context or background. It is as if Srebrenica sprang up sui generis with no prior history or past, ready-made and pre-fabricated to serve as a pseudo-image for the New World Order. Srebrenica becomes part of the New World Order mythology, justifying the expansion of NATO, the takeover of eastern Europe by the EU and corporate interests, and rationalizing US “leadership” in the world, the US “global hegemon”.
Did the history of Srebrenica begin on July 11, 1995 when Bosnian Serb troops occupied it? What happened before? Why is the history of Srebrenica conspicuously missing in all accounts of Srebrenica? What is going on here? How can you delete an entire history?
Where is the history and context of Srebrenica? Why is it scrupulously and meticulously covered-up, deleted, and censored? Is this appropriate in the “free world”? What are they hiding? Why do they want to brainwash us and tell us what to think? Why is the corporate media and governments of the “free world” engaging in the Hilterian Big Lie? Why do we need a Big Lie?
The media parrots the phrase that Srebrenica is “the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.” The implication is that nothing happened in Srebrenica during World War II. But quite a bit happened in Srebrenica during the Holocaust. The Ustasha Black Legion occupied Srebrenica on April 11, 1942 when Serbian guerrillas withdrew from the area. The Bosnian Muslim troops in The Black Legion massacred Serbian civilians who remained in the Srebrenica region and burned down and looted Serbian villages. Brezani, Turija, Podravno, and all the Serbian villages around Bratunac were burned down and the remaining Serbian population was massacred by Bosnian Muslim and Croat forces allied with Nazi Germany. Most of the Serbian population fled Srebrenica by crossing the Drina River into Serbia. The Bosnian Muslims and Croats and Kosovo Albanian Muslims know so much about the Holocaust because they participated in it. This is what US and Western media propaganda and infowar techniques seek to conceal. This shows the utter absurdity of the media frenzy over Srebrenica.
This is the reason why the history of Srebrenica before July 11, 1995 has been deleted. To show that the Bosnian Muslims were part of the Holocaust would destroy the US propaganda ploy. What is the history of Srebrenica?
Srebrenica lies west of the Drina River separating Bosnia from Serbia in the mountains of eastern Bosnia. Srebrenica emerged as a silver mining town. The name comes from the Serbian word “srebro”, meaning silver, and the suffix “ica”, meaning town, Silver Town. The town was known as Argentaria (from Latin “argentum”, silver) when the region was part of the Roman Empire. In 395 AD, following the death of Roman Emperor Theodosius, the Roman Empire was divided into East and West at the Drina River and ruled by his two sons, Honorius in the West and Arcadius in the East. The Eastern Empire was ruled under the Byzantine church from Constantinople while the Western Empire was ruled from Rome. This is how the division between East and West, between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, emerged with the border at the Drina River between Bosnia and Serbia.
During medieval Bosnian history, German miners from Saxony were brought in to develop the silver mines. These German settlers lived in the village of Sasi. Merchants from the city-state of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) established a stake in the silver mining industry of Srebrenica. Serbian despot Djurdje Brankovic ruled Srebrenica twice during the fifteenth century. His Greek-born wife Jerina is credited with building the fortress outside of Srebrenica.
Srebrenica under the Ottoman Turkish Empire
When Srebrenica fell under Ottoman Turkish rule, the German and Ragusan miners and merchants gradually left Srebrenica. During this period, Serbian Orthodox “sharecroppers” became the majority population of Srebrenica. Srebrenica’s Serbian population joined in the 1804 uprising against the Ottoman Empire led by Kara Marko, or Black Marko. When the rebellion failed, he fled Srebrenica by crossing the Drina River into Serbia. The territory east of Srebrenica is referred to as Kara Marko’s Territory.
Srebrenica during World War I
Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia, starting World War I. Major Kosta Todorovic of the Serbian army had recruited hundreds of Serbian volunteers in the Srebrenica area to engage in sabotage operations against the Austrian troops. They attacked police stations and garrisons in eastern Bosnia.
Chief of Staff of the Austro-Hungarian forces Conrad von Hotzendorf launched the invasion of Serbia along the Drina River in eastern Bosnia. Governor of Bosnia Oskar Potiorek, commander of the VI. Army, attacked along the Drina River. General der Infanterie Liborius Ritter von Frank, commander of the V. Army, attacked as did Eduard Bohm-Ermolli with the II. Army. The policy was to kill everything Serbian, to kill everything living. “Serbia Must Die!” was the catch-phrase. The Austrians developed the propaganda construct of a “Greater Serbia” to maintain their illegal occupation of Bosnia. On August 13, Austrian troops crossed the Drina north of Srebrenica and invaded Serbia from Bosnia. The Austrian offensive from Bosnia took Loznica on August 14 and Sabac on August 16. On August 19, the Serbian army defeated the Austrian forces at Sabac just east of the Drina River near the Bosnia-Serbia border. On August 22, Serbian forces retook Sabac and Loznica after destroying the Austrian forces on the Drina River. By August 25, the Austrian invasion of Serbia ended in total defeat as the Austrians were driven back into eastern Bosnia.
In eastern Bosnia, Kosta Todorovic captured Srebrenica and the neighboring town of Bratunac which he held for several weeks. In late September, however, Todorovic and some of his men were taken prisoner after an engagement with Austrian troops. Todorovic was reportedly burned alive by the Austrians. The insurgency was suppressed in eastern Bosnia. The Austrian army then took collective punishment against the Serbian population of Srebrenica. Several dozen Serbian civilians, including women, were rounded up and summarily hanged without trial. About a hundred Serbian civilians were summarily executed while entire Serbian families were expelled to Serbia across the Drina River. Many Bosnian Serbs from the Srebrenica region were deported to “concentration camps” in Hungary. Hungarian troops and Muslim and Roman Catholic paramilitaries were allowed to loot Serb-owned businesses and houses and allowed them to physically assault and murder Serbian civilians.
The following are extracts from Reiss’ Report, based on interviews and investigations he conducted:
“No. 90, of the 78th regiment 15th Company related that First-Lieutenant Bernhard told them that they must kill every living creature.
No. 94, reservist, of the 70th Regiment. Captain Lahodny gave them the order to kill without mercy all that was Serbian, both in Serbia and in Bosnia, and also to burn the villages.
No. 101. The first Bosnian regiment killed peasants in Stavain (Bosnia) and burnt all the houses, because some unknown person had fired a shot in the village. It was the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment, a Hungarian by extraction, who ordered this massacre. In Uvatz Lieutenant-Colonel Krumenack gave the order to set every house on fire, and that merely in order to destroy the house of a Serbian priest. In Strbzi and Dobrava everything was likewise burnt by order of the same commander. All these villages are in Bosnia. As a general rule all houses on the Drina (Austrian side) owned by Serbs were fired.
No. 110 declares that Mohammedan and Catholic peasants from Bosnia accompanied the Army Transport Service. He saw them on Serbian territory. They were there to plunder. These peasants were included in the commissariat of troops. Between Kogluk and Biclina he saw armed civilians in the carriages with the officers and men.
No. 111, of the 4th Bosnian Regiment. His regiment was accompanied by armed Bosnian peasants. They followed the Army transport Section and accompanied the police in order to "have an eye" on the Serbs. They wore yellow and black badges on their arms, and witness heard that these civilians brought lying reports about the Serbs to their officers in command, who thereupon ordered the houses to be set on fire.”
Reiss found that the massacres and “the butchery of the population was systematic and according to how the men were systematically trained and prepared.” He found that a pamphlet was issued by the Austro-Hungarian high command, and which he found in the possession of the troops. The genocidal policy against Orthodox Serbs in Bosnia and Serbia is shown by the following extracts:
“No. 50, [Austrian] hospital sergeant in the 28th Infantry Landwehr Regt., deposes that before crossing the frontier the officers abused the Serbs [drafted in Austro-Hungarian army from Bosnia and Krajina] in every possible way, calling them "barefoot," "gypsies," "assassins," "brigands," etc. All soldiers of Serb nationality were forbidden on pain of death to own to their race -- it was considered an act of treason. The officers gave out that they would finish with the Serbs in a week. Witness crossed the Drina [river which divides Bosnia and Serbia] with other troops during the night from the 12th to the 13th of August , and at about 2 o'clock in the morning they passed near Mali Zvornik [town]. From Zvornik they went as far as Ljubovia. The officers told them to shoot all that was Serbian...
All men, old men and children, were captured and driven before the troops with bayonet thrusts. These people were questioned as to the position of the Serbs and the comitadjis. If their answers failed to satisfy the [Austrian] officers they were shot immediately. In most cases, when the troops entered a village the greater number of the hostages, or even all of them, were killed. These unfortunate people were almost always old men or children...
In [Velika Reka village]... there was an inn. The innkeeper was bayoneted by Corporal Begovitch. The innkeeper's wife, who had witnessed the scene, wrenched the rifle from the Croat and killed him. Other Austrians threw themselves upon her and ripped her body open from end to the end with a bayonet. Her child was killed with the same weapon. The house was completely sacked.”
Srebrenica was initially occupied by German Wehrmacht troops during World War II. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, the German Army occupied Srebrenica until July, 1941. In eastern Bosnia, the Bosnian Muslim population joined the Ustasha NDH forces en masse. When Nazi German troops and Croat Ustasha forces of the newly created Independent State of Croatia arrived in Srebrenica and Kravica, the local Bosnian Muslim population welcomed them openly. According to Chuck Sudetic in Blood and Vengeance: One Family’s Story of the War in Bosnia, “[m]ost of the area’s Muslims subsequently enlisted in the Ustase or the Croatian army, and the Ustase began patrolling nearby villages, demanding that the Serbs surrender all their weapons and arresting Serb menfolk.” Indeed, Naser Oric’s grandfather was a member of the Ustasha.
The systematic and planned genocide of the Serbian population in eastern Bosnia, organized by Croats and Bosnian Muslims, forced the Serbian population to launch a resistance movement in the area. On August 8, 1941, Serbs from Kravica gathered around the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kravica and proclaimed an uprising by ringing the church bell in defiance. After two weeks of combat, the Serbian guerrillas linked up with the guerrilla forces of General Draza Mihailovich to drive out the Ustasha forces, both Croat and Bosnian Muslim, who had occupied the area. Serbian guerrillas had thus seized the entire Srebrenica region of eastern Bosnia.
The Ustasha retaliated by sending punitive raids against Serbian villages where many Serbian civilians were massacred. These Croat and Bosnian Muslim massacres against Serbian civilians inevitably and ineluctably resulted in Serbian reprisals and retaliation. What resulted in eastern Bosnia was a civil war. Indeed, large areas of eastern Bosnia were now held by Serbian guerrillas. This is what led to the formation of the 1st Ustasha Brigade, the Black Legion or Crna Legija. The Black Legion was formed as a shock unit for the German Wehrmacht in the NDH.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Srebrenica, built in 1937, was taken over by the Croat forces and was used as a command post. In the parochial region of Srebrenica there was a population of approximately 3,700 Orthodox Serbs. A monument to World War I Zlatibor guerrilla squad leader Major Kosta Todorovic, by sculptor Mihailo Milovanovic, was demolished on orders of the Croat Ustasha authorities. The Ustasha made the Serbs of Srebrenica destroy the statue themselves, but one Serb was able to take the inscribed slabs of polished marble and hide them in Kara Marko’s Territory east of Srebrenica.
According to the testimony of Dragan Jolovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest in Srebrenica, part of the Srebrenica district, in the eparchy of Zvornik-Tuzla, the Croat/Bosnian Muslim Ustasha forces killed Dusan Bobar, a Serbian Orthodox priest from Vlasenica, Milos Savic, a priest from Milici, the priest Dragomir Maskijevic, Ljubomir Jaksic, a priest in Han Pijesak, and the priest Janko Savic, a priest in Knezine. The Ustasha closed the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kravica while executing the Serbian Orthodox priest and the schoolteacher in the nearby woods. The Ustasha threatened to summarily execute the entire Serbian population of the town. Following Operation Trio by the Black Legion in April/May, 1942, the entire population of Kravica either fled or was killed. There were not any Serbs left in Kravica.
By July 5, 1943, Partisan assaults led by the 1st “Proletarian” Division took Srebrenica. The Ustasha forces retook Srebrenica, however, three days later. The Ustasha then engaged in revenge killings by massacring scores of Serbian civilians. Marta Vasic was killed, along with her daughter Zora and her five children. Ustasha forces massacred Serbian civilians in the nearby villages to Srebrenica.
On July 3, 1944, at least a hundred Serbian civilians from Kravica were murdered by Ustasha forces. About half were burned alive in a single house in Kravica. Ustasha forces were made up of Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
Ustasha forces searched the towns and villages, robbing and looting Serbian property. They also committed rapes.
On May 11, 1941, the Croat command told Srbislav Blazic that he had “three days to leave the territory”. He fled to Serbia the following day. According to Blazic, in the Kravica district outside of Srebrenica, the population was 80% Serbian Orthodox, and 20% Bosnian Muslim. There were no Croat settlements in eastern Bosnia. The Ustasha murdered eight prominent Serbs near Drinjaca, the seat of the Croat command, in the forest of Rasica Gaj near Vlasenica.
In Vlasenica, approximately 80 prominent Serbs were murdered and thrown into a large ditch, some still alive. The Bosnian Muslims were responsible for many of these murders of Serbs. These Muslims had been prominent figures in the political structure of the region before the war. Before Vidovdan, June 28th, there were mass arrests of Serbs including Serbian schoolchildren/students and taken to Sarajevo. Blazic’s brother Mito was one of those taken. The Serbian Orthodox priest Dragomir Maksijevic had his eyes gouged out, ears cut off, and the skin on his back was peeled off. The Bosnian Muslims were responsible for these killings.
Serbian priests and intellectuals were taken to Caprag. Dragoljub, 22, and Hrista Vuckovic, 65, recalled that in the town of Srebrenica, Muslims were slightly more than Serbs, but that in the entire Srebrenica district, Serbs were the largest group. After the German invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia, three German soldiers on motorcycles had been the first to arrive in Srebrenica. There were no paved roads in Srebrenica, so they soon departed. A small contingent of German troops then arrived a few days later. A Croat military force also came during this same period.
The NDH Ustasha forces immediately armed the Bosnian Muslim population with military arms and even gave Muslims from the age of 14 years weapons. The Ustasha police was formed in the Srebrenica region made up of Bosnian Muslims. Muhamed Djozic was made the prison warden in Srebrenica. Safet Abdurahmanovic was also placed in the Ustasha administrative hierarchy in Srebrenica. He had been a student at a Turkish school. Muslims were put in control of the entire district along these same lines.
As soon as the Bosnian Muslims were armed by the Ustasha, they began to attack the Serbian population of Srebrenica and eastern Bosnia. In Bratunac, the Serbs Vlajko Zaric, Pero Jovanovic, Savo Mladjenovic, and Desimir Delic were imprisoned. They were released after a ransom was extorted. Orthodox priests were locked up, taken to Caprag, then deported to Serbia. Ustasha forces robbed Serbian homes of rings, watches, jewelry, and clothes and shoes were stolen. Serbian women and girls in the Srebrenica region were assaulted and raped. Bosnian Muslim Ibro Pasalic, a member of the Ustasha, was responsible for these attacks.
This is how matters stood until January, 1942, when a punitive expedition was launched to retake the Srebrenica region from Serbian forces. Serbian guerrilla forces were forced to retreat because of the overwhelming strength of the Axis forces, a combined force of German, Italian, and Croat/Bosnian Muslim units. As the Muslim and Croat Ustasha forces retook the region, Serbs were murdered, including Cedomir Marsalek from Bratunac.
Serbian guerrillas again retook the Srebrenica region and held it until April, 1942, when the Germans, Italians, and Croats/Bosnian Muslims launched the coordinated joint offensive known as Operation Trio to clear the Srebrenica region of Serbian guerrillas. The Serbian forces initially defeated the Black Legion and drove it back outside of Vlasenica. But due to overwhelming superiority in numbers and arms of the German/Italian/Croat/Bosnian Muslim forces, had to retreat. The Serbian population now faced extermination and retaliation for driving out the Croat and Muslim Ustasha forces. The Serbian population of the Srebrenica region fled across the Drina River into Serbia when many Serbian women and children died in the hazardous trek. According to eyewitnesses, all the Muslims in the Srebrenica region joined the Ustasha. The Ustasha forces included Hasan Efendic from Bratunac and his brother Edhem, and Karlo Ekert, a blacksmith from Voljavice.
The Serbian villages of Podravno, Brezani, and Turija were burned to the ground. In Brezani and Turija, all the remaining Serbs were slaughtered. All the Serbian villages around Bratunac were burned down. These massacres of Bosnian Serb civilians and the robbing, looting, and burning of their houses was carried out by the Croatian Black Legion (Hrvatska Crna Legija). According to Nikolic, however, these forces consisted of Bosnian Muslims. The commander of the Black Legion units in Srebrenica was a Bosnian Muslim with the surname of “Arpadzic”, who had been the tax collector in Srebrenica before the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. A Bosnian Muslim thus led this genocide of the Serbian population of Srebrenica as the commander of Black Legion units based in Zvornik.
Many Serbian civilians and POWs were murdered during the month of April, 1942 when the Black Legion occupied Srebrenica. Serbian civilians in Srebrenica now sought to escape this Croat/Bosnian Muslim genocide against them by fleeing the area. Many Serbian refugees drowned attempting to cross the Drina River into Serbia. Branka Grujicic tried to escape with a child by crossing the Drina in a boat. She was knifed by the Ustasha and they were thrown into the river. Bosnian Muslims Ibro Verlasevic and Hakija Sirucic, a court worker in Srebrenica, were prominent in organizing these attacks against Serbs. Serbs were thus forced to flee to Serbia to escape this genocide in eastern Bosnia. The Ustasha robbed and burned the Serbian villages around Srebrenica: Podravanja, Palez, Dzile, Viogor, Kravica, Turija. In Turija, the entire family of Ilija Tanasijevic from Srebrenica was burned to death in their house. In the summer of 1942, the Ustasha killed everyone in the Serbian village of Dubrovica.
A ten year old Serbian refugee from Derventa recounted how Bosnian Muslim troops killed his family. His father had fled the region to escape execution, fleeing to Banja Koviljaca east of Srebrenica for treatment after he was wounded. He and his family had been forced to hide in the forests to escape the massacres. They found a hut in the mountains where they hid from the Bosnian Muslim Ustasha. His family consisted of his mother, two sisters, six year old Milka, four year old Radinka, and his brother, four year old Rajko. Their hiding place was discovered by Bosnian Muslim Ustasha troops. The Muslim Suljo Sandzija, a neighbor whom they had earlier protected and given food and milk to and to his family, had now joined the Ustasha forces. He killed his mother first with a knife, then killed his sister Radinka. Milka tried to escape but was also killed. His brother Rajko was the last to be killed. Sreten was knifed and left for dead but he managed to escape. The Serbian Orthodox priest of Derventa was also killed by Bosnian Muslim Ustasha forces.
The Serbian population of eastern Bosnia, in towns such as Srebrenica, Vlasenica, Kravica, and Bratunac, was subjected to a systematic genocide perpetrated by Croat and Bosnian Muslim troops. The Black Legion participated in killing Serbian civilians in eastern Bosnia. This genocide has been covered-up. Nevertheless, the Serbian population of eastern Bosnia was depopulated and decimated and the remaining population traumatized.
Jure Francetic was transferred out of The Black Legion following its engagement in the defense of Bugojo in August, 1942. In September, 1942, Francetic accompanied Ante Pavelic when the latter met Adolf Hitler and Friedrich von Paulus and inspected the Croat 369th Reinforced Infantry Regiment, the Croat Legion (Hrvatska Legija), made up of Croats and Bosnian Muslims, outside of Stalingrad at Gobubinskaya in the USSR. The Black Legion was disbanded by the end of 1942 and the men were integrated into the 5th Ustasha Active Service brigade. Some members became part of Boban’s Battalion, or Bobanova Bojna, commanded by Major Rafael Boban.
This pre-July 11, 1995 history of Srebrenica is meticulously covered-up and censored in the US and the West. Like in George Orwell’s dystopia Oceania: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” History is falsified and manipulated to advance hidden agendas.
Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar
Srebrenica was part of the SS “security zone” that Heinrich Himmler set up for eastern Bosnia during World War II. Himmler remembered the loyalty of Bosnian Muslim troops in the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire. Himmler wrote: “I am sticking to my intention of forming SS Bosniak Division of Moslems…As Bosniaks, they would surely be loyal soldiers to our side.” Initially, Himmler wanted to create “an SS division purely of Moslem Bosniaks.” Himmler’s goal was to recruit 26,000 Bosnian Muslims for the Handzar Division.
The 13th Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS “Handzar/Handschar” had its headquarters in Brcko, at the Posavina Hotel. To celebrate the arrival of the Nazi SS Handzar Division in eastern Bosnia a large Islamic Mevlud ceremony was held at the Brcko mosque attended by prominent Bosnian Muslim leaders. A Mawlid an-Nabi or Mevlud, begins with a recitation of the Qur’an, then the reading of poems and the singing of Islamic religious songs. Ilahis or praises to Allah are recited, along with qasidahs and na’ats. These are meant to be in praise of the Prophet Mohammed. Wilhelm Ebeling, an officer in the Handzar Division, wrote that the arrival of the division was “heralded by the Muslim population, who had been promised a great deal by the (German) high command.”
Stephen Schwartz argued that Handzar only killed Serbs but did not kill Bosnian Jews and was not anti-Semitic. The commander of Handzar, Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig wrote that Handzar had participated in the “elimination” of “many Jews” in eastern Bosnia:
The territory between the Sava, Bosna, Spreca, and Drina is now free of the Bolshevist terror… The enemy has been driven out with the heaviest losses. …All local (communist) organizations have been eradicated through the elimination of all sponsors, organizers, and commissars, among these many Jews….
The division also captured Italian and Jewish POWs in an engagement south of Bijeljina on April 23, 1944, based on daily German military reports: “(Over two hundred) enemy dead counted. One hundred prisoners taken, among them Italians and Jews.”
Thus, the Bosnian Muslim Handzar Nazi SS Division did participate in the Holocaust.
There were approximately 20 Muslim Imams in the division who inculcated a policy of extermination against Orthodox Serbs and Jews. Handzar Imam Abdulah Muhasilovic made this speech to the division during Bairam ceremonies in October, 1943:
The world’s Muslims are engaged in a terrible life-or-death struggle. …The entire world has divided itself into two camps. One stands under the leadership of the Jews, about whom God says in the Qur’an, “They are your enemy and God’s enemy.” And that is the English, the Americans, and Bolsheviks, who fight against faith, against God, against morality, and a just order.
On the other side stands National Socialist Germany with its allies, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, who fight for God, faith, morality, and a fairer and more righteous order in the world…
The Bosnian Muslim Imams in the Handzar Division led the SS troops in mass Islamic prayers or Jum’ah.
Stephen Schwartz and Noel Malcolm make much about the Muslim “mutiny” in Villefranche de Rouergue in France on September 17, 1943. Their objective is to create the absurd and preposterous image of Bosnian Muslims, not as Nazi SS troops who committed genocide and war crimes against Bosnian Serbs and Jews, but as heroic “mutineers”. Their propaganda objective is to negate the fact that the Bosnian Muslims participated in the Holocaust. This is the epitome of absurdity and nonsense.
In fact, two of the principal organizers were Croats from Croatia. The four organizers of the mutiny were: Nikola Vukelic, a Roman Catholic Croat from Gospic, Croatia; Bozo Jelenek, a Croat from Kutina, Croatia; Ferid Dzanic, a Bosnian Muslim from Bihac; and Luftija Dizdarevic, a Bosnian Muslim from Sarajevo. Dzanic had been a part of the Partisans and was a POW when he was enlisted for the division. Jelenek was a member of the Yugoslav Communist Party. They had infiltrated the division and caused havoc within its ranks. They executed five German SS officers of the division. Iman Halim Malkoc was instrumental in notifying the 1st Company who arrested Vukelic and killed Dizdarevic and Dzanic. Vukelic was executed along with 13 other members of the plot. Jelenek escaped and joined the French resistance, returning later to Yugoslavia to serve as a captain in the Yugoslav Army. On September 28, four more Bosnian deserters were tracked down and executed.
Himmler wrote about the mutiny: “I knew there was a chance that a few traitors might get smuggled into the division, but I haven’t the slightest doubt concerning the loyalty of the Bosnians. These troops were loyal to their supreme commander twenty years ago so why shouldn’t they be so today” Himmler was referring to the Bosnian Muslim troops who had served in the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg army. Schwartz and Malcolm delete this information. Himmler awarded the Imam Halim Malkoc an Iron Cross, Second Class, for his role in thwarting the mutiny. Bosnian Muslims Ejub Jasarevic and Adem Okanadzic were also decorated by Himmler.
Srebrenica was on the southern limit of the SS security zone in eastern Bosnia. Based on IX SS Corps KTB entries for August 20-27, 1944, the Partisan 27th East Bosnia Division was deployed to the area northwest of Srebrenica and moved into the Bratunac region to engage elements of the Handzar Division. Handzar elements II and III/27 were trucked through Tuzla and Zvornik to the Bratunac front north of Srebrenica. These troops arrived on August 20. Handzar attacked the 27th Division, inflicting heavy casualties on this “well-armed” division. The 27th division suffered 52 killed and “was split into two groups and mauled.” By August 26, the 27th Division was forced to retreat south to the Srebrenica region. They retreated to the Podzeplje region. The V SS Mountain Corps ordered that the Handzar Division pursue but Desiderius Hampel, commander of the Handzar Division at this time, considered pursuit a “waste of time” because of the unsuitable terrain and because the enemy forces had been drastically reduced. Hampel sent Jagdkommandos into the Srebrenica region who engaged in light skirmishes.
From September 1-7, 1944, Operation Ratwek was launched by the Allies in the Balkans, consisting of bombing raids to disrupt German military movements.
On September 6, Serbian Chetnik units assaulted three Handzar Division supply columns and raided the Handzar base at Dragaljevac southeast of Brcko. Friedrich Kreibich, the Handzar commander of II/AR 13, was killed in the engagement at Lopare. Chetnik forces attacked the Handzar base at Kastel east of Stolin two days later, killing two members of the Handzar Division. As the Soviet Red Army advanced westwards, the Handzar Division was redeployed to the Zagreb area.
The Handzar Division role in the establishment of a Bosnian Muslim security zone in eastern Bosnia has been covered-up in the West. This entire history has been carefully deleted and suppressed.
A major omission in the Srebrenica story is the systematic murder and displacement of thousands of Bosnian Serb civilians planned and organized by Naser Oric and his deputies Zulfo “Suceska” Tursunovic and Hakija Husein Meholjic. The Committee of War Victims’ Families, the League of Prison Camp Inmates, the Republika Srpska veterans organization, the Municipality of Bratunac and Srebrenica, and the Centre for Investigation of War Crimes against the Serbian Nation, have compiled figures for the number of Bosnian Serbs killed in the Srebrenica region. They compiled the names of 3,287 Bosnian Serbs from the Srebrenica region who were killed between 1992 to 1995. These results were published in the Vecernje Novosti newspaper on June 30, 2005.
Florence Hartmann, the spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor at The Hague, gave the following reaction to the recently published number of Bosnian Serbs killed in the Srebrenica area:
"First of all, the OTP is always very careful in the use of the word "victim". Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions.
Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were "virtually completely destroyed" do not reflect the reality.
During the attack by the BH army on Kravica, Jezestica, Opravdici, Mandici and the surrounding villages (the larger area of Kravica), on the 7th & 8th January 1993, 43 people were killed, according to our information. Our investigation shows that 13 of the 43 were obviously civilians. Our findings are matching with the Bratunac Brigade military reports of battle casualties which are believed in the OTP to be very reliable because they are internal VRS reports.
For the whole region, i.e the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, the Serb authorities claimed previously that about 1400 people were killed due to attacks committed by the BH Army forces for the period of May 1992 to March 1995, when Srebrenica was under the control of Naser Oric. Now the figure has become 3,500 Serbs killed. This figure may have been inflated. Taking the term "victims" as defined previously, these figures just does[sic] not reflect the reality.”
It does not reflect the reality? What reality? Whose reality? Naser
Oric’s troops engaged in the planned, organized, and systematic mass murder
of Bosnian Serb civilians. Oric’s forces killed elderly women, elderly
men, civilians, and noncombatants. Oric’s troops also destroyed and burned
at least 50 Bosnian Serb villages and drove out the Bosnian Serb population
in a planned, coordinated, and systematic policy? Isn’t this genocide?
The murders in Srebrenica began when Naser Oric planned the murder of Goran Zekic, a Srebrenica judge and the deputy of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) in the Bosnia-Hercegovina Parliament. Zekic was murdered on May 8, 1992 from an ambush near the village of Zalazje on the approach to Srebrenica. On May 9 Serbs began to leave town.
Oric began the attacks on Bosnian Serb towns and villages on June 1, 1992, when he organized an attack on the village of Oparci in the Srebrenica municipality. Six Bosnian Serb residents were murdered and 22 Bosnian Serb houses were burned down.
Oric and his forces attacked the Bosnian Serb village of Ratkovici on June 21. Oric’s Srebrenica troops murdered five Bosnian Serb women and three elderly Bosnian Serb men in age from 64 to 71 years old.
Oric’s Srebrenica forces attacked the Bosnian Serb village of Brezani, located in the Srebrenica municipality, on June 30. Oric’s troops murdered 19 Bosnian Serb residents in the village. Bosnian Muslim troops from Srebrenica beheaded Milos Novkovic while Vidoje Lazic was crucified and then his corpse set on fire. Kristina Lazic, in her late fifties, was also set on fire in her house by Bosnian Muslim troops from Srebrenica.
Naser Oric was identified by witnesses as the leader of the attacks along with his deputies, Hakija Meholjic, Akif Ustic, Zulfo Tursanovic, from the village of Suceska, Osman Zukic, Huso and Resad Halilovic, and Akif and Vehbija Jahic.
On July 5, 1992, Oric and his forces from Srebrenica attacked the Bosnian Serb villages of Krnjici and Oricevi, killing 16 Bosnian Serb residents. Oric’s troops slit the throat of 80-year-old Bosnian Serb Vaso Paraca, who was born in 1912. Oric’s forces drove a pitchfork through the body of the Bosnian Serb woman Soka Vujic.
The village of Zalazje was attacked on July 12 by Oric’s troops from Srebrenica. Zalazije is in the immediate vicinity of Srebrenica. Oric’s troops murdered 39 Bosnian Serbs. Witnesses identified the following Bosnian Muslims as responsible for the attack: Amir Mehmedovic, Hajrudin Besic, Azem, Nezir and Hajrudin Bezic.
On September 24, 1992, Oric and his troops attacked the village of Podravanje, killing 31 Bosnian Serbs. The bodies of the Bosnian Serb victims were found with their throats slit, beheaded, burned to death, with their stomachs slit open, and killed by blunt objects.
Oric personally led an assault later that same day, attacking security guards on the surface excavation site of a bauxite mine outside of the town of Milici. On December 3, the same mine was attacked and seven security guards were killed. Oric led this attack, which included Zulfo Tursunovic, Becir Mekanic, Ibrahim Ademovic "Cagura" and Mujo Bektic from the villlage of Podgaji in the Srebrenica municipality.
On October 5, Oric and his forces attacked the villages of Fakovici and Boljevici in the Bratunac municipality. His forces killed 19 Bosnian Serb residents in Fakovci and 8 in Boljevici.
On December 14, the villages of Bjelovac and Sikiric were attacked, killing 24 Bosnian Serbs in Bjelovac and 21 in Sikiric.
Kravica, which lies on the road from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac, was completely surrounded by Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica after they took Glogova. Naser Oric and his troops from Srebrenica, who numbered 3,000, attacked Kravica on Orthodox Christmas morning, January 7, 1993. Many Bosnian Serb civilians were able to be evacuated during the battle. In this attack, known as “bloody Christmas”, 46 Bosnian Serbs were killed and 36 troops and civilians were injured. Survivors testified that “even dogs and cats were shot” while all the 690 houses and buildings in Kravica were looted and set on fire. The Serbian Orthodox parish hall was burned and destroyed. Grave markers and headstones at the Orthodox cemetery were destroyed, vandalized, and desecrated. According to testimony, “even the bodies of the deceased were not spared from looting and desecration.”
On January 16, 1993, Oric and his troops from Srebrenica attacked the town of Skelani as well as the outlying villages of Kusici, Cosici, and Kostolomci, in the Skelani municipality, killing 48 Bosnian Serbs.
Naser Oric imprisoned Bosnian Serb prisoners in the basement of the police building, the courthouse and the municipal building in Srebrenica where they were tortured and beaten to death. Some of the Bosnian Serb prisoners died in the hospital after they were exchanged. Veselin Sarac died from his injuries he suffered due to the beatings in the Srebrenica prisons. Sarac testified before his death that Naser Oric was one of the persons who beat him. Hakija Meholjic was identified by survivors as another person who beat the prisoners in Srebrenica.
Bosnian Muslim POWs related that Oric demanded the brutal treatment of the Bosnian Serb population. Bosnian Muslim Mirsad “Skejo” Sulejmanovic " recalled that "after the attack on Kravica, Naser's soldiers caught five or six Serbs in the village of Kajici and they slit their throats". UN commnader in Bosnia Philippe Morillon recounted how Oric told him: “One can’t be bothered with prisoners.” Oric executed all Bosnian Serb POWs on the spot. Moreover, Bosnian Serb civilians were similarly executed or murdered. Oric’s forces did not distinguish between military combatants and civilian noncombatants. Oric’s forces murdered all Bosnian Serbs they came in contact with.
On April 17, 1993, Srebrenica was declared a "safe haven" through the intervention of Morillon. But the town was not demilitarized. This allowed the Bosnian Muslim Government to pump weapons, supplies, and troops into the Srebrenica “safe haven.” In fact, the Bosnian Muslim Government formed the 28th Infantry Division in Srebrenica. Well-armed Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica were able to conduct ambushes and sabotage actions against outlying Bosnian Serb areas. Throughout the battle for Srebrenica, Bosnian Muslim troops continued to offer resistance and were thus combatants under military and Geneva Convention guidelines. Bosnian Serb troops did not kill any Bosnian Muslim women or children or noncombatants in Srebrenica. Those who were killed were Bosnian Muslim soldiers and combatants who were offering resistance. There was no “massacre” in Srebrenica, only a massive Bosnian Muslim military defeat.
Even before the final Bosnian Serb assault on Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Muslim military attacks continued. On May 27, 1995 in the area of Rupovo Brdo in the Milici municipality, Bosnian Muslim military forces from Srebrenica killed five Bosnian Serb civilians, who were cutting wood in the forest, were killed.
On June 23, Bosnian Muslim military forces from Srebrenica ambushed and murdered four Bosnian Serb civilians in the Skelani municipality. Three days later, Bosnian Muslim soldiers from the Srebrenica "safe haven" attacked the village of Visnjica in the Milici municipality, killing one and wounding two Bosnian Serb civilians. The Bosnian Serb village was then burned.
Marko Arsovic, the Republika Srpska justice minister, and his deputy, Goran Neskovic, the Republika Srpska liaison officer to the Hague Tribunal, personally submitted the evidence and documentation of Naser Oric’s war crimes to the Hague Tribunal in July, 1996. The result was that Naser Oric was indicted by the Hague Tribunal for committing only a few token murders and with burning and destroying Bosnian Serb property. Wasn’t there a systematic and organized plan by Naser Oric and the Bosnian Muslim Government in Sarajevo led by Alija Izetbegovic to systematically murder and ethnically cleanse the Bosnian Serb population in the Srebrenica region? According to the ICTY, Oric was only defending himself and engaged in “defense” and “self-defense”. But this is a rhetorical and propagandistic definition and explanation. It is not based on military law and the Geneva Conventions. It is based on a political decision not to prosecute allies, proxies, and surrogates of the US, NATO, and the EU.
Bosnian Muslim Government troops destroyed the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Shroud of the Most Holy Mother of God, built in 1903, which was outside the area of military operations. Icons, religious art objects, and library and memorial tablets were destroyed. The church was also looted and burglarized of valuables. The cemetery parish chapel was also destroyed. The Serbian cemetery in Srebrenica was vandalized and desecrated. Orthodox headstones and gravestones were desecrated and demolished. Srebrenica Serbian orthodox priest Zeljko Teofilovic stated: “The reconstruction has been lasting for seven years already.” The Church of the Holy Archangel Michael, built in 1971, was destroyed. The interior of the main Serbian Orthodox Church in Srebrenica was destroyed and vandalized and Kalashnikov rounds were fired against the walls. The Muslim forces also used the church as a stall to keep sheep during the civil war.
War Crimes against Bosnian Muslims
Naser Oric committed war crimes and acts of genocide not only against Bosnian Serb civilians, but also against Bosnian Muslims as well. Rape was used as part of the anti-Serbian propaganda orchestrated by the US government and media. Bosnian Muslim troops, however, engaged in rape against Bosnian Serb civilians and against Bosnian Muslims. The Scotsman reported on April 16, 1994 that Naser Oric’s troops had raped a 16-year-old Bosnian Muslim teen, Vehida Dedic, who was able to flee to the Bosnian Serb-held town of Bratunac.
The Scotsman story was as follows:
“The brutality and horror of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been measured over the last two bloodstained years, less by death and wounds, but by rape. Almost from the first fighting, rape - actual, threatened and rumoured - became a tool of terror and control. Now, in the chaos and lawlessness of the Muslim enclaves in southern Bosnia, a new pattern of the same crime is emerging.
Only a few survivors have yet been able to testify to these latest events. One of them is Vehida Dedic. Raped and beaten by a gang of men led by the Bosnian Muslim commander of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, she was left with no-one to turn to in her own town. For her, crossing the lines into the hands of an army which was shelling the people around her, was the only means of escape.”
Vehida Dedic recounted the rape as follows:
"I was desperate. I realised that I couldn't live there any more ... I was thinking of committing suicide. Two months ago, I moved to that house. I lived there until the first of April. Every second evening or so, Naser Oric used to come, usually with a different woman. He was always followed into the house by three Muslim soldiers. On the 27th of March, they came again. I made coffee, as the housekeeper told me to. Then the three soldiers ordered me to another room. I knew their names: Safet, Serd and Ibro, boys of 20 years, all three from the village of Glogove. When I entered the room, the soldiers told me to strip off, lie down on the bed and have sex with them. I started protesting. I tried to free myself. At one point, I tried to jump through the window; this was upstairs. Safet caught me and started to beat me on the face and body. Then all three started to beat me and take off my clothes. That's how they stripped me naked. Safet was the first to rape me. After that, Serd and Ibro raped me as well.
By the end, I was unconscious. I came round before dawn. I realised that I was alone and naked, and the door of the room was open. The rape started around eight in the evening. I don't know when they left the room.
At first, I couldn't stand up. Then I dressed, and went to find the housekeeper. When I found her I told her what had happened, but she just laughed at me. In the morning, Commander Oric came back, so I told him what his comrades had done to me. He hit me and swore at me.
I went to the Muslim police, to complain to them. But when I told them what happened, they shouted 'Get out of here!' and threw me out of the police station. 'You have complained to Naser', they said 'If he didn't help you, nobody can!'"
Naser Oric and his military forces in Srebrenica committed war crimes not only against Bosnian Serb civilians, but against Bosnian Muslims as well. This fact is censored and covered up in the US and Western media so that Srebrenica can serve a propaganda function for the New World Order.
Conclusion: Srebrenica and Pseudo-Reality
Srebrenica is an example of a “pseudo event”, a totally fabricated and manufactured event. It is merely an image, a propaganda image. Srebrenica serves a propaganda purpose by justifying and rationalizing the “humanitarian intervention” by the US/NATO/EU in the 1990s. More broadly, Srebrenica is meant to justify the new US role as the “global hegemon”, the sole Superpower. Srebrenica is thus a major propaganda event in the New World Order. It is meant to justify the New World Order itself. This is why Srebrenica has been elevated to Auschwitz status. Srebrenica is the Auschwitz of the New World Order.
Srebrenica is based on “pseudo reality”. What is reality? Whose reality? German philosopher G.W. Hegel wrote: “Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.” In a civil war, no one is “right”. Hegel’s idea is an apostasy and anathema in the New World Order, where we see reality in black or white, a simplistic Manichean vision. We see everything with absolute certainty. We know absolutely what is right and what is wrong. We know who is right and who is wrong, who is good and who is evil. But do we really? Is reality that simple? If reality and truth were so clear-cut and obvious, why do we need public relations firms, lobby groups, infowar techniques, an “embedded” media, and propaganda and brainwashing techniques? Why even bother?
Boorstin perceived that Americans required “pseudo-events” to maintain their illusion of the “American dream” and their role in the world and in history. Boorstin’s concept of pseudo-events is revived today in the dichotomy of a “reality-based community” versus the “faith-based community” of the New World Order. Who needs reality when fiction and fantasy are so much better. The Romans had circuses. The Nazis had rallies. We have movie theaters, television, cable and satellite TV, government press conferences, and the mass media. But we are all slaves to media bombardment. We are all zombie-like as we rush to see what the top box office hit is this week. We all crave to relinquish our freedom. This is what The Grand Inquisitor in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov understood. We are slaves to the image and the pseudo event. We crave to be told what to think. We all want to be slaves because freedom is too heavy a burden to bear. We have to rush to read about Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; we have to see Anikan Skywalker/Darth Vader and the Revenge of the Sith or the latest exploits of Spiderman and The Fantastic Four. We are a society of brain dead zombies that live in pseudo-reality. We get our “reality” from CNN sound bites and summer box office blockbuster movies. Then we have all the pseudo-intellectuals and all the “pseudo-experts” that have to tell us how to think and how to feel. We cannot think for ourselves. We love our phony reality. We are like George A. Romero’s movie zombies. This is what Boorstin meant when he said: “We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in there place.” We no longer know what reality really is? Reality becomes whatever we see in the media.
Hegel wrote: “What history teaches us is that men have never learned anything from it.” Srebrenica is proof of this.
Boorstin, Daniel J. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. London: Harper & Row, 1961.
Cohen, Roger. Hearts Grown Brutal. NY: Random House, 1998.
Lepre, George. Himmler’s Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1944. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1997.
Reiss, Rodolphe Archibald. Report upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian Army during the first invasion of Serbia. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, and Kent, Ltd., 1916.
Sudetic, Chuck. Blood and Vengeance. NY: W.W. Norton, 1998.